Tomb of Rachel. Jerusalem Holy Land, 1890–1900
Tomb of Rachel. Jerusalem Holy Land, 1890–1900 © Library of Congress

The Israeli Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale will explore the established mechanisms by which the country facilitates the co-existence of Holy places. As a location with special sacred status as the cradle of three Abrahamic religions, the region encompasses a variety of holy sites that are both contested and shared. Curated by Ifat Finkelman, Deborah Pinto Fdeda, Oren Sagiv and Tania CoenUzzielli, the exhibition In Statu Quo: Structures of Negotiation will, through the lens of architecture, look at the status quo regulations within these mutually sacred places.

"In the geopolitcal context of the Holy Land, the combination of historical events, myths, and traditions has created a multiplicity of places, sacred to competing groups of religions, communities and affiliations" the curatorial team argue. "These in turn, have led to the formation of an extraordinary concentration of intricate spaces, fragmented and stratified both historically and physically." Through "a delicate web of political negotiations and agreements, [...] each place preserves its own ‘modus vivendi’ while maintaining a meticulously performed protocol of daily activities, arrangements and rituals."